Italian Foreign Ministry: photographer kidnapped in Afghanistan is in good condition

An Italian freelance photographer kidnapped last week in Afghanistan is alive and in good condition, the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome said Monday.

"We have elements to believe that Gabriele Torsello is in good health condition," Foreign Ministry official Elisabetta Belloni told Sky TG24.

Belloni, who heads the ministry's crisis unit, said that "there has been a contact with Emergency" a peace organization that runs a hospital in the area where the man was abducted.

She did not elaborate, but according to Italian news reports Torsello called Emergency to let authorities know he had been abducted. Later, kidnappers also got in touch with the group.

Belloni said officials were still trying to identify the abductors, reports AP.

Belloni said the area where Torsello was kidnapped is "known for being one of the world's most dangerous."

"There are drug traffickers, criminal bands, groups affiliated to the Taliban, as well as the Taliban themselves," she said. "We can't rule out any possibilities."

Torsello and his Afghan translator were kidnapped Saturday as they drove from Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern Helmand province, toward neighboring Kandahar. They were abducted from their car.

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